Comic Publishers

September 24, 2010

IDW Reviews: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #158

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #158
Publisher: IDW
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Agustin Padilla
Cover: Agustin Padilla

“A Real American Hero”: After reading this issue I had to go back and read #157 again, because it seems as if I had missed something, or a few things actually. This issue starts off with Scarlet and Snake Eyes infiltrating Cobra’s base, and end up getting into a fight with Storm Shadow. General Hawk makes it into the Pentagon and into a safe room disguised as a janitor’s closet. The other four Joes are leading a frontal assault at the castle gates in a desperate attempt to buy Scarlet and Snake Eyes some time. During all of the commotion, Baroness and Billy stop getting all cozy with each other to go and look for the Commander, only to find him clumsily trying to get into his battle armor.

This issue tosses you into the story kind of like a kid who can’t swim gets kicked in the pool and is told “go for it.” So needless to say, a little more exposition would have been helpful and maybe made sense of a few things. Not saying that the issue was a bad one, it’s just rather abrupt if you ask me. Especially since this issue basically had the Joes attack the Cobra base while still on the run from their own government as well as Cobra operatives. There is also no explanation as to how everyone was able to meet up and coordinate such a plan. So unless some of this is explained later on (please let it be explained later on), then this issue is going to really annoy me. Aside from the fact that I was annoyed that Snake Eyes is in his usual outfit, but now his visor is SCUBA ready and he wears a re-breather ON his mask.

Despite my grievances with this issue it was still a fun read. The action was executed well and Hama even interjected a bit of humor that didn’t seem forced when he had Cobra Commander trying to get himself in his new armor. There is also the display of Scarlet and Snake Eyes’ “relationship” and how it’s expressed between the two that totally fits within their character and doesn’t get in the way of the story. Hopefully the same will be able to be said for the Baroness and Billy as the story unfolds. By the way, isn’t she old enough to be his mother?

Padilla’s artwork is still great to see here, though it is funny to see the difference from Roadblock’s appearance in issue #156 and how beefed up he’s drawn in this issue here, which actually fits with how he should look. Aside from that he’s been pretty consistent since the relaunch of the title, and he continues to do well despite a few minor issues that probably only bother me.

Hama still has me intrigued as to where this story is going, and since Hawk has a smirk on his face as he hands the phone to the soldiers after they get to him, I can only assume things are about to change concerning the Joes’ status. I will say though, that this was not a reader friendly issue if you are trying to get acquainted with G.I. Joe. Now I know IDW is reprinting the original series in trade paper backs, but a brief recap kind of like how Marvel used to do in the G.I. Joe: Yearbook to retell the events of the past twelve months would be helpful. Anything to help the reader be a bit more comfortable would be a benefit to the overall story here and maybe help draw in new readers as well.

‘Till next time!

Infinite Speech



  1. GI Joe/Cobra is a close second, but this series is hands down the best JOE book on the shelves right now!

  2. I think it’s time to trim the fat on some of the Joe titles and start leaving the prime stuff!

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